According to a bombshell new report this week by ProPublica, Donald Trump and his company engaged in a bribery campaign that spanned the 1980’s and 90’s where he allegedly paid off New York officials to secure lower tax rates for his business and properties. He then became apoplectic when he learned that other companies were getting the same tax rates that he was. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains how the scam worked.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

A bombshell new report came out this week from ProPublica where they explained how the Trump organization in the 1980s and 1990s engaged in a bribery scheme, allegedly, where they paid off, allegedly, tax assessors in New York City in order to secure a lower tax rate for their properties and for their business in general. And we know this because the tax assessors who, allegedly, took these bribes from the Trump organization ended up going to jail for this in the early two thousands. This was a scheme that let’s be fair, did not only include the Trump organization, but a bunch of corrupt tax assessors from the 1980s through the 90s had been taking bribes from companies like the Trump organization, according to the report, and then offering them lower tax rates based on, you know, how good the bribe was. Now bribery in any and every form is illegal, not just for the person receiving the bribe, like the tax assessors who went to jail for this, but also the person paying the bribe.

And with this new information coming out saying that, yes, the Trump organization, according to the people who pleaded guilty to accepting the bribes, the Trump organization was involved. I would think these are people that the AG of New York would probably want to talk to. Right? Don’t you to think these are kind of the people that Letitia James is, is ready to go ahead and say, hey, why don’t you come into my office? Let’s have a talk. Because I do. You know, Cy Vance probably ready for these people to come in and start spilling the beans because they’re already investigating the Trump organization and this would just be the cherry on top. Now, Donald Trump has come out and said he didn’t do any of this. It’s all a lie. And in fact, he was actually deposed about this back in 2007, but the deposition wasn’t necessarily about the bribery.

It was because Donald Trump decided to sue a reporter who said he wasn’t worth as much money as he said he was. So Trump had to go through discovery, through depositions, and that’s when they asked him point blank about the bribery, which he denied at the time and still denies to this day. Now, because that is not what that case was about they did not pursue it. But if it turns out that they did this, and if it turns out that he knows this, which there would be records of this because those would be large sums of money suddenly disappearing from the company. Yeah, there’s records, there’s paper trails. There always are and there’s always people in the organization who know whether or not this did or didn’t happen and I’m assuming one of them is probably currently sitting in prison. And that person of course would be Donald Trump’s former lawyer/fixer, Michael Cohen.

I guarantee you, he knows whether or not this story is true. So it may be worth it for investigators to go pay a visit to that prison and call him in for a couple of questions. Donald Trump has lived his entire life like this. He’s living his life in the White House like this. He thinks he can do anything he wants, get away with anything that he does because he has, he has lots of money. People have already gone to jail for this scheme, but I think it’s about time that a couple more specifically from the Trump organization go into a perp walk as well. If this story is true, if this story is accurate, which according to the people who engaged in the bribery say it is, then yeah, it’s time for some real serious investigations. Let’s ramp those up. Let’s add this new material in there because Trump’s not going to be president forever and the day he steps out of that office, the day the next president is sworn in, New York investigators need to be waiting there in Washington DC with handcuffs and a paddy wagon to bring him back to New York.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced